Kaleb Banks has had a fairly simple daily routine since arriving in Bloomington. Wake up. Practice. Spend most of the day at the gym. Go home. Fall asleep and wake up ready to start again.
This led to Banks and the rest of the class of Indiana’s top 10 freshmen — Jalen Hood-Schifno, Malik Reneau and CJ Gunn — spending several hours each day with Clif Marshall, director of athletic performance at the ‘Indiana. And after about a month of working with Marshall, the first-year Hoosiers have already seen noticeable improvements.
Gunn showed up to campus at 186 pounds, and Marshall has set a goal of hitting 200 pounds by the time he returns home in August. On Thursday, Gunn weighed in at 199 pounds, already adding 13 pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-6 frame. Banks saw similar gains through his work with Marshall, going from 200 to 215 pounds in his first month at Indiana.
Marshall is entering his sixth year at Indiana after working for 10 years as performance director at Ignition Athletics in Cincinnati, where he trained more than 10,000 athletes, including talent from the NBA, MLB, MLS and the NFL.
Marshall also worked as a strength and conditioning assistant for the Cincinnati Bengals, as well as a fitness ambassador for the NFL from 2015-2016. In this role, he wrote training articles for NFL.com and produced content video for the NFL Network. Marshall’s workout plan has also been featured in Muscle and Fitness Magazine, ESPN, and USA Today.
“I’ve known Clif Marshall since my rookie year in the NFL,” said seven-time NFL Pro Bowl wide receiver AJ Green. said. “I’ve used him as my personal trainer because he believes in total athlete training. His performance program focuses on improving fast twitch muscles, which is exactly what I need to continue playing at the Pro Bowl level every year with the Bengals. I appreciated his wisdom because it made me a complete athlete.”
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Since arriving in Bloomington, Marshall has redesigned the Cook Hall weight room into what is now called “The Lab,” which is packed with state-of-the-art workout equipment and technology. He also collaborated with team doctor Larry Rink and athletic trainer Tim Garl to create the IU Excellence Academy, which contains the Tobias Nutrition Center.
Gunn has realized the importance of nutrition and sleep since devoting himself to Marshall’s program, which emphasizes the need for proper post-workout recovery. Gunn said college basketball felt more like a job compared to his time at Lawrence North, which showed him how vital being in top form is to adapt to the speed of college play. .
“It’s very important to the process,” Gunn said. “You have to consider all the factors and really lock in and grab and stay disciplined.”
And perhaps what paved the way for players to embrace Marshall’s approach was how easy it was to connect with him. Hood-Schifino noted that Marshall often sends motivational messages to the team to ensure they stay dedicated to workouts and nutrition.
Marshall took freshmen fishing during their first week on campus, and recently a group attended the Monroe County Fair with Marshall.
“Besides being a strength trainer, he’s just a great guy outside of the weight room,” Hood-Schifino said.
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